The Navy's newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) was commissioned in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island, July 29.
The ship is named in honor of Navy Cross recipient Marine Corp Sgt. Rafael Peralta. During the second battle of Fallujah, he smothered a grenade with his body, absorbing the majority of the blast. He was killed instantly, but saved the lives of his fellow Marines.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, gave the principal address. In his remarks, he thanked the family of Rafael Peralta, in particular his mother, Rosa Maria Peralta.
"Thank you for raising a man of character and virtue," he said. "We need more people like him in our world."
Neller said that a ship required three things: A hull, a name, and a crew.
"And when you put those three things together, you create more than just a ship; it's a lifeform," he said. "This is more than just another commissioning. It marks the commemoration of a life and the immortality of a hero. Sergeant Peralta's legacy will forever be part of this ship. All he ever wanted to be was an American, to serve his country."
Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, Third Fleet, stepped up to the podium with the ship's commanding officer, Cmdr. Brian Ribota and placed the ship in commission.
"On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and for the President of the United States, I hereby place United States Ship Rafael Peralta in commission," she said. "May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her."
Rosa Maria Peralta, mother of Sgt. Peralta, is the ship's sponsor. Her sponsorship duties saw her christen the ship in Bath, Maine and during the commissioning ceremony, she gave the order to the ship's crew to bring the ship to life, first in Spanish and then in English:
"Officers and crew of USS Rafael Peralta, man our ship and bring her to life!"
The crew enthusiastically replied from its formation on the pier.
"Aye, aye ma'am!" they yelled, and sprinted aboard the ship as the Navy Band Southwest played Anchors Aweigh, followed by a flyover by two U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys.
Commander Ribota thanked the guests for attending the ceremony. He then reminded everyone of another constant presence.
"One last person who is here for us today, just three miles away, on Fort Rosencrantz, where he is buried," he said. "Sgt. Rafael Peralta has the over watch and always will. We will always render honors as we come in and out of port here in San Diego."
Ribota also recognized the hard work and determination displayed by his crew - the men and women who made this special day possible.
"In less than three months after moving aboard, they flawlessly sailed this 9,200-ton greyhound over 6,000 miles to get here to San Diego," he said. "We have all come a long way in a very short time."
Peralta was born on April 7, 1979 in Mexico City, Mexico. The son of Rafael and Rosa Peralta, he was the oldest of four children. Immigrating to the United States with his family as a teenager, he graduated from Morse High School in San Diego, California in1997. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 2000, immediately after qualifying for a green card. He became an American citizen while serving in the Corps.
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta is a multi-mission surface combatant capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare. As a multi-mission platform, it is capable of sustained combat operations supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.
For more information, click here.
NOAA Commissions New Fisheries Survey Sh
Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 commissioned for us
The Maritime Alliance Hosts San Diego Bl
Future USS Gabrielle Giffords Completes
Royal Australian Navy Launches Destroyer
Future USS Rafael Peralta Completes Acce
Future USS Sioux City to be Commissioned
Keel Laid for Future USS Lyndon B. Johns
Future USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) Deli
U.S. Navy Christens Future USS Tulsa (LC
BAE Systems to Modernize USS Roosevelt u
Keel Laid for Future USS Frank E. Peters
Exclusive Video: San Diego Welcomes OINA
USS Montgomery (LCS 8) Completes Final C
BAE Systems to Modernize USS Vicksburg u
USS Detroit Completes Combat System Ship
Future USS Gerald R. Ford Underway for B
Huntington Ingalls Redelivers Aircraft C
USS Detroit Completes Final Contract Tri
Future USS Omaha (LCS 12) Completes Acce
Future USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carri
UC San Diego Launches Scripps Center for
USS Gabrielle Giffords Commissioned in G
Lockheed Martin-Led Team Launches Future
EdgeTech Sonar Utilized in the USS India
Aircraft Carrier USS Lincoln Tests F-35C
US Navy Launches Next Destroyer, the Fut
Greensea System Utilized by Vulcan Inc.
3U Technologies, LLC Supported Vulcan In
Rebranded Oceanology International Ameri
Power of Integration Tested at USS Dahlg
Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Colo
Submarine USS Washington Commissioned at
Future USS Little Rock to be Commissione
Huntington Ingalls Christens Destroyer D
Keel Laid for Future Destroyer USS Lenah
First Underwater Footage of the USS Ward
Lost US WWII Submarine USS S-28 Discover
Guided-Missile Destroyers to Depart San
USS Michael Monsoor Successfully Complet
USS Mississippi Visits Yokosuka During C
MakaiLay Commissioned by Prysmian Group
Wreckage of WWII Aircraft Carrier USS Le
EdgeTech Sonar Utilized in the Search an
Submarines USS Hartford, USS Connecticut
EdgeTech Sonar Utilized in the Search an
The USS Helena Discovered by Paul Allen’
Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences Majors
US Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS T
USS Theodore Roosevelt Completes 7-Month
USS Milwaukee Kicks Off LCS Missile Modu
WHOI Provides New Details on Discovery o
USS Gets Green Light to Build New Access
EdgeTech Sonar Instrumental in Discovery
US Navy Awards BAE System Maintenance Co
NTNU Trondheim University Purchases USS
USS Jason Dunham and Egyptian Navy Condu
U.S. Navy Launches the Future USS Frank
Discovery of Stern from World War II US
USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group